11/03/2013 05:54 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST

What I Learned This Week: Rainy Days and Mondays Are The Most Productive

I woke up on Saturday to a cold, cloudy, rainy, extremely windy day. One of those days when the dampness crawls inside you and chills the bones, no matter what you're wearing. In other words, typical dank, miserable Northeastern November weather.

And I couldn't have been happier.

Mark Twain famously said: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

Mark Twain never met me.

Because bad weather days open up a whole world of possibilities for yours truly.

As has been my habit for the past seven years, I compose these blogged pearls of wisdom over the weekend, usually on Saturdays. And trust me, no matter what the subject of 'em, they're always easier to write when my office's bay windows are filled with views of dense grey clouds than with a panorama of clear blue skies.

On the surface, crummy days make me feel that I'm missing out on less. In other words, being confined to a computer and desk on a gloomy morning means that I'm not wasting a precious day of sun and the outdoor possibilities they bring. I'm not distracted by "what could be", and deal realistically with "what is".

Because of that, I accomplish more when the weather is rotten. It's strange, but thanks to the meteorological dreariness, all the little things that would be understandably ignored and overlooked if it were sunny outside take on a new life, and radiate brightly themselves.

The sweet clouds and rain are actually a boon to my productivity.

  • The books, magazines and websites I have to read...
  • The piles of paper I have to sort through...
  • The documentaries I want to watch...
  • The plans I need to make...
  • The bills I need to pay...
  • The closets I need to straighten up...
  • The things I just have to sit back and spend time thinking about...

...are all now--pardon the pun--seen in a new light.

Years ago, Paul Williams wrote perhaps the ultimate paean to miserable weather with "Rainy Days and Mondays." A musical invitation to slash one's wrists, it actually was a #2 chart hit for The Carpenters in 1971 (and if you really want to experience instant depression, hide the sharp objects and take a listen to Cracker's 1994 remake), and contained the chorus "Hanging around/Nothing to do but frown/Rainy days and Mondays/Always get me down."

But rainy days and Mondays don't get me down; they actually pump me up. Although I've known it for a while, this week's learning reaffirmed it:

Bad weather leads to great output.

That said, let me close with a semblance of an apology. Please excuse the uncharacteristic brevity of this week's post, but I'm looking at the clouds, and looking at the time... and I've got so much else to do.

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